Tuesday 8 May 2018

An Interview With GOZU

Psych Stoner Rockers GOZU have just released their superb new album Equilibrium released via Metal Blade Records/Blacklight Media.

The album is already receiving it’s fair share of great reviews and it’s not hard to see why. Perhaps GOZU’s most hard rocking and best album to date. GOZU show no signs of slowing down this great album.

I was given the chance to interview GOZU where we discussed the making of the new album and what people can expect from Equilibrium.

Hi there. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today.

Things are good. It is finally sunny here and stopped snowing so I feel like I might throw on some short shorts and go for a run and then a nice bike ride.

Congrats on another stunning new album with Equilibrium. What can people expect from the album.

Oh, Thank you so much. I think they can expect to hear songs that will get you to move, close your eyes and let the music make love to you. Find a melody you can sort of ride and think about something other than the norm of the day. It is an album that is very honest and sincere made by 4 guys that love to play and write music

What is the main theme and story of the album.

It is how does one deal with grieving and loss. How does one wrap their mind around something without feeling a sense of despair or complete lunacy. It is how do you have a grip on reality when reality as you knew it for 45 years is suddenly stripped away. Having a conversation with yourself while driving because the person you usually converse with is no longer present. So, it is an album of dealing with questions and feelings regarding to hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel, and if not, where does one possess the light?

What influenced you when writing and recording the album.

Well my dad passed away in June while we were writing the album. This certainly hit me incredibly hard as I spoke to my Mom on a Saturday morning and suddenly that afternoon I had to drive to Syracuse and Sunday was the last day I would see him. So this influenced what I wrote about. I did not sit down or set up a time to write, it just hit me on a Monday, and 6 songs were written in 20 minutes. I just let it out and it felt good to be able to see what my mind was storing up and how it needed to channel out of me.

Musically, influences were all over the map for me. I was listening to a lot of soul music and wanted it to be vocally like a heavy Motown album. Also, I am a sucker for melody and harmonies so I tend to listen to a lot of the Band, CSN and Joni Mitchell. In terms of tones, we all have our feel and it tends to lend to the tone we marinate in our heads.

Was recording the album an easy or hard experience compared to your previous albums.

For me it was the best experience I have had in the studio. Dean Baltulonis is a gem to work with and the boys were so right on and played so passionately that one thing easily sled into the other. I think that there is a sense of trust and when you have that you can go out on a ledge and if you need to be reeled in, you have 3 others gently winding the rope in.

There was a harmonious sense of interplay on this album and it shows. It is a maturing process like with anything but you also have to check your ego at the door and simply do what is best for the songs and we all did that and again I feel it is truly displayed here. It is easy when you enjoy playing and the people you play with have a gift.

I love the song titles on Equilibrium and your previous albums. It seems your song titles seem inspired by B Movies of the past and present. Is that a fair assumption to make. Or am I just looking too much into the song titles.

The titles are things that we laugh about, have come up in ridiculous conversations and do not mean a thing in terms of any of the songs. I wanted to name a song Richard Grieco but that will be on the next one as he holds a place in my heart. You are correct though that we love actors like Jan Michael and Stacey Keach.

They have a special place in the hearts of many as their prowess on the big screen and TV have changed many a life through their beautiful work on such shows as Mike Hammer and Airworlf and Cinematic gems, Escape from LA and Defiance.

Will you be promoting and touring this album heavily. Or will you just be focusing on gigs closer to home.

We are looking to tour a lot to be honest. Trying to set up things as we speak. I would play everyday if I could.

The album cover is very cool indeed. What’s the story behind the album cover. Who designed it and how much input did you have into the final design.

Chris Smith is the artist, he also did the cover for Revival. He is an absolute brilliant man and so easy to work with. It is a true pleasure working with Chris as he really understands what we are going for. It is almost though osmosis that he nails the concept the first time. There is an honesty to his work that really grabs the eye and tractor beams you on in.

This album is being released by Metal Blade Records/Blacklight Media. How have things been at your current label compared to working with Ripple Music and Small Stone Records.

It is divine working with Blacklight media/Metal Blade. Everyone that is a part of the two are warm and kind people and ravenous music fans. It is easy to work with a team you have the utmost respect for and vice versa. I hope it is a long and delicious partnership. A musical PB&J.

Has it surprised you how the Doom/Stoner Metal community has responded to your music. As you’re highly thought of within the community.

I am just happy people like it. If we can bring joy to one person and if they can get off on what we do then that is what makes me a happy guy. I know when I was a kid and now, I hear something and it makes my nuts tingle, the song works. So my hope is that people have the same feeling when they hear Equilibrium. I think as long as the artist loves what they have composed, it will shine in the end. I believe your auditory system knows when they hear true or false, so I leave it up to that.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go do you have anything to say to your fans. Best of luck with the new album.

Many many thanks brother. We would just like to say Thank you to everyone that has helped and continues to help us daily. Without people wanting to work with us or places and crowds enjoying what they hear, there would be no Gozu. So please, everyone take a bow and know that we strongly care about you all. 

Eat a peach, Gaff.

Words by Steve Howe and GOZU

Thanks to GOZU for doing this interview. Thanks to Andy at Metal Blade PR for arranging this interview. 

Equilibrium is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl from Metal Blade Records now.


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